90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
The New ‘Glocal’ Economy

Going “Glocal.” We’ll look at local economies stepping up in an era of globalization.

Worker Jose David, of Revere, Mass., left, trims the sole of a shoe during the assembly process at the New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. factory in Boston, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP)

Worker Jose David, of Revere, Mass., left, trims the sole of a shoe during the assembly process at the New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. factory in Boston, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP)

For a long, long stretch, globalization has felt like a one-way street. The world was flat, we were told, and American jobs were rolling abroad.

Well, there’s a little more friction in the system these days. Building everything on the far side of China doesn’t always sound like such a great idea. Within the great global arena, more people and companies are thinking local again. That could mean protectionism and shrinkage. It could mean a blossoming of local talent and jobs.

This hour, On Point: look homeward, angel. We’re looking local in the global economy.

- Tom Ashbrook


Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor in charge of economics and business for TIME.  Her big piece on “glocalization” is headlined: “The Economy’s New Rules: Go Glocal.”

Zachary Karabell, economist and president of River Twice Research.

From Tom’s Reading List:

TIME “As products roll off the line at Caterpillar’s recently expanded East Peoria, Ill., factory, every one is marked with a flag that designates its final destination. There are a lot of Chinese, Indian and Australian flags. But there are plenty of American ones too, and their numbers are growing.”

New York Times “The dairy farms that once draped the countryside here were paved over so the Japanese carmaker Nissan could build its first American assembly plant. Eighty miles to the south, another green pasture was replaced by a Nissan engine factory, and across Tennessee about 100 Nissan suppliers dot the landscape, making steel in Murfreesboro, air conditioning units in Lewisburg, transmission parts in Portland.”

The Daily Beast “Friday’s jobs report was immediately heralded as a strong rebound from months of weak employment growth. With the jobless rate at 8.3 percent, barely changed from 8.2 percent last month, financial markets, ever fickle and always flighty, staged a relief rally after a week of disappointments that the central banks of the world were not swooping in cavalry-like to the rescue.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • SusurrousRing13
  • ebw6748

    I am a student in St Louis MO and organizer of an online campaign for the Missouri write-in vote for Jill Stein’s presidential candidacy. I listen to your program almost daily, but I have yet to hear any discussion involving Jill Stein when elections are being discussed. You guys should contact her for an interview or at least include her in the discussion. I am in no way affiliated with MO Greens/Progressives, rather I find Jill’s platform more legitimate and needed than either of the candidates of the 2 major parties. http://www.jillstein.org/ Please peruse her platform, A Green New Deal for America.  Obomba and Rmoney are discussed every day by so many people, but there is more out there on the point.  

    • jefe68

      I guess you missed the show.

      The reason BUR and other media outlets are focusing on President Obama and the GOP candidate Mitt Romney is kind of obvious, don’t you think?

      Jill Stein had about 1.34% of the vote in the 2010 gubernatorial race in Massachusetts. Maybe this is why you’re not hearing much about her nor the Green Party.
      She did worse this last time out trying to governors office and yet she now thinks she has a chance of doing what exactly? If she can’t get traction in Massachusetts, how is it that she thinks she has even a ghost of a chance in the national election for the presidency?

      I tried real hard to listen to what she had to say in the gubernatorial race and I came away thinking this person is just not making any sense and seemed to be a bit scattered on issues and ideas. That’s why she has never won anything in Massachusetts other than the Lexington Town Meeting Representative.
      I like her but I think she gave up to easily on running for state offices. The best she’s done in has been running for state rep and I’m not sure why she gave up on that. Running for president makes no sense.

      • LinRP

         I have to agree with you 100%. I am from MA, Lexington, in fact, and no one is more open to her message than I. But, I too find her hard to follow (scattered in an excellent description). She makes a couple of good points, then loses me completely. She hardly has the vision or the experience chops to lead the US domestically or internationally, particularly in these times. Her wanting to be POTUS is rather ridiculous. And in this case, the lack of coverage, sorry to say, is warranted.

    • nj_v2

      OT; free-for-all Friday is still a couple of days away.

    • Acnestes

      I like Jill Stein and the Green Party, but I have to beg you to please be realistic and not throw away your vote to Willard or encourage others to do so, which is what a vote for Jill is equivalent to.  You may be too young to remember Ralph Nader.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Eventually an electorate needs to show courage if things will ever change.

        • Don_B1

          While I fully understand the frustration that leads you to such a statement, please note that the 2008 financial crash almost certainly would not have happened had Al Gore been elected president in 2000. Also, Iraq would NOT have been invaded and John Roberts and Samuel Alito would not be members of the Supreme Court.

        • J__o__h__n

          How much positive change resulted from eight years of Bush?  Courage shouldn’t mean foolhardy. 

      • Mephistopholis

        The Ralph nader meme is a lie, promulgated by the Democrats and reinforced by the mindless corporate media. 

    • J__o__h__n
      • ebw6748

        thank you for the update. to be honest i wrote this email originally to my local station and then copy pasted it to several other national programs to get a reaction from someone. still, if you may, please interview jill again. her campaign has minuscule exposure because they refuse corporate funding, which the other two have openly welcomed.

  • nj_v2

    I was trying to overcome my annoyance with the irritating term “glocal” to see if there’s any there there, but Time won’t let me read the article. (“To read the entire article, you must be a TIME subscriber.”)

    Oh, well…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Thinking globally (so to speak), not being a Time subscriber will be less annoying than having full access to it.

  • AC
  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    We need to learn how to compete globally. If all countries do not play by “free market rules” you don’t have free markets. I believe in free markets and I concur with Milton Friedman that free markets, in order for them to work properly, must have a referee so that all players are competing on a level playing field. Each player in the market must not be allowed to destroy the market and turn it into an oligopoly. If this happens society loses. Capitalism is here to serve society. Society is not here to serve capitalism.A problem with global markets is there is no strong referee to punish countries that do not abide by free market principles. It is not easy to force China not to manipulate its currency. It is difficult to require China, South Korea and Japan to remove the tariffs placed on imports of automobiles from the U.S. http://www.freeourfreemarkets.org/2012/08/global-competition.html#more

    • Ellen Dibble

      “Each player in the market must not be allowed to destroy the market and turn it into an oligopoly”?   It’s easy to mis-read that as “must be allowed,” and then you have uber-capitalism, probably not envisioned as the Industrial Revolution began to exercise its “success”-based gravitation, and the “means of production” began to be owned and wielded by ever-growing titans first of property and “plants,” and then of the computers and their banks which churn the appearance of profits.  Appearance.  If profit is broad prosperity, I don’t think capitalism has delivered.  Or rather, capitalism needs to return to its roots, the more transparent type of roots (without flags out on K Street in Washington, and closed doors), where everyone knows how much the particular business delivers to the community in taxes and jobs.  That’s not communism; that’s Capitalism neat.

      • Don_B1

        You are reminding people that even Adam Smith recognized that regulation must be an inherent part of capitalism (or the system will revert to feudalism, fascism, or some form of oligopoly or plutocracy). This explains why FDR’s greatest accomplishment, for which the rich to this day revile him, was to save capitalism from the “capitalists.” [See Jonathan Alter's 2006 book, "The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope""]

        Also read Joseph Stiglitz’s book, “The Price of inequality,” where he cites empirical data from the Gilded Age to the Roaring 20s to the “???” 1980 to 2008s to show how growth in income and wealth for the elite leads to less growth or mobility for all members of a country. This is supposed to be impossible in a “capitalist” country but what it shows is capitalism missing the necessary component of regulation — which might, in part, take the form of higher taxation on the wealthy, which would curtail their ability to control the levers of political power. Thus the wealthy would not be able to use government for its rent-seeking activities which lead to monopolies and other distortions of a “free market” so worshipped by the Right.

        But the real wealthy mouth the cry of Liberty and Freedom, but what they really want is those ideals for themselves but not necessarily for others. Just like the feudal lords in the Middle Ages.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I don’t know what the hell “Glocal” means, but I hope it has something to do with producing what you can locally, and erecting some modest protectionist barriers.  Globalization is bad news for at least 75% of Americans, so I welcome any sort of pushback against it.

    • Ray in VT

      I hadn’t heard “glocal” either.  I’ve heard locavore kicking around for a couple of years, but this one’s new to me.  It seems to be lost on many Americans that if we want jobs here (either nationally or locally), then we have to support businesses that produce or sell here.  For instance, there is an excellent independent eatery in my town that is very price competitive with the chains, and they locally source their food and all of the profits stay with the owners, who live in town.  So often, though, for various reasons, local businesses lose out to chains that funnel profits out of the local economy.

      • Shag_Wevera

        I avoid the chain joints whenever possible.  There is always a decent local option.

    • J__o__h__n

      Just what we need, a new awful sounding alleged word. 

      • Mike_Card

        Somehow, I get the feeling that this is another word that has no real meaning, so it means whatever the user wants it to mean.  Like, meme or realistic or popular or green or fair or…

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Glocal?  If we were dedicated to destroying the English language, we couldn’t do a better job than people are doing haphazardly.

    • Ray in VT

      Greg, sometimes you remind me of my undergraduate adviser, who was known to print out emails from students so that he could make grammatical corrections and return them to the students.  He also gave a lecture on the misuse and abuse of the apostrophe.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         We few, we happy few…

    • AC

      ha! at first i read it hard “glockal” and i thought it was another show about gun control….

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Actually, gun laws and negative attitudes toward guns in the media are keeping gun buying local.  The chain stores generally shy away from selling firearms (or at least from having a decent selection), and it’s illegal to sell a gun across state lines without transferring it through a licenses dealer.  That being the case, local gun stores do a steady business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brennan-Moriarty/100000655771831 Brennan Moriarty

    Imagining the component industrial construct as a chess board cordoned/paved and parleyed as a mere/normal [1 dimensional] checker board [for patent security and quality focus], leaves the spirit of the [militant?] chess figures unique or dynamic effects in the pasture of the strip mall, yet trimming the tack when the winds go slack, from raw materials to the storms perfect shack j.i.t. but universally exact efficient [and a {scoobydiet} snack]. (Geo-cultural facts, tack, [a desperate and-yet-mimicked act)
    The raw material of our social fabric & civil outlook is always local people and global qualification; quantum  keeling amplification~destinations. if we try to control or simply ignore this supply assembly equation, then the secondary sector of finished product/functioning society will flail in the wind like meta-to-sin instead of heaven to win. Industrial biographies and manifest destiny [silicon valley ain’t bad if the knight is right and the rook insight architectural levels sociologically lite & normative lee bright, or culturally by name or an acoustic-mind like a/b Gate reel tight.
    industrial might & man.dest. flight need a gear of optimism to harness the multiple civil-logic layers; the ___simple decision___ the gov provides, the software of harmony RUNS the hardware of the economy.
    Oh and one more thing: meta meta meta! ;) liberating justice too, with peace post-queue; Ed-true, said,,,blue but graphing the few and singing the tune of happiness’ glue, at home and in ones exceptional colony too. bill gates toilet would be George Washington’s first pick, and Ben Franklin’s electricity would be printed and sent on tour, even if he had to dig a hole to China, the mere value would pay & light the way., But NOW is not our geographic yesterday,  it’s more than hay, it’s hills and balance in the way, and out where civility we tame.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       How do we get this drivel deleted? Clearly has nothing to do with the show.

      • OnPointComments

        I hope in the next iteration of Disqus they give us the option to ignore specific commenters.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Can I get some of that doobage, Bro?

      • Mike_Card

        Inside the gray bar, which contains the poster’s name, move your mouse cursor to the right edge.  A “-” sign will appear, saying “collapse this thread.”  Click on the minus sign and–Voila!  All gone!  Do that before replying to the stoner.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    As more Americans have less wealth, wages continue to stagnate, benefits evaporate, and fuel prices rise, the disparities that make it profitable to make and ship products from the other side of the planet are disappearing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I wonder how much of this is a result of increasing fuel prices for international shipping and increases in the cost of production in major cheap labor nations like China and India. Given the global economic situation and predictions that things will only get messier in the coming decades, it seems to make more sense to spend a little more and keep things local (in the US) to protect long term business interests. Not really protectionism as much as good business sense.

  • Mouse_2012

    globalization is a race to the bottom if the countries do not have the same labor/civl/safety standards. Instead of say trade between the U.S. and Germany where innovation creates benefits for both countries Instead you have trade with China in which it’s cheap labor causes a race to the bottom in about all areas.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Who could coerce all the world’s nations into adopted the same labor and environmental standards?

      • J__o__h__n

        If they want access to our market, they need to conform. 

    • keltcrusader

      This is already being done. Retailers, after getting burned by selling poisonous goods to children or pets, realized they had to adopt some regulations to ensure the products coming into the country from areas with no regulations were safe. Most now require testing of products to ensure they are safe and also audit factories for safety issues or ethical treatment of workers. This, plus the fact that workers in these countries are now starting to complain or even strike for better wages and working conditions, all adds to the cost to import. Eventually making it in the US of A will be cheaper than abroad, but perhaps only after US wages are reduced to a fraction of what they are now. All to be abe to advertise “We have the lowest prices!” A vicious circle it is to have Americans lose jobs to overseas companies to save on costs and then those same folks do not have the money to buy the goods being imported into the country. I buy “American” whenever I can even if I pay more, and try not to give my business to companies that don’t support American workers, but it gets harder all the time. 

  • Mouse_2012

    Also this guess is uninformed if she believes reregualtion of banking is actually happening. Nothing has changed in banking and the race to the bottom has excelled not slowed.

  • Mouse_2012

    Americans companies are lowering the pay of workers based on the thought that they could outsource such job to china.Companies still get subsidies to outsource to other countries and 60% still pay no U.S. taxes.

    caterpillar company supports ethic cleansing. Nothing to be proud of .

    This women is clueless

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      (Is “ethic cleansing” an editing error, meant to be “ethnic cleansing”?)

      • Mouse_2012


        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF


          But your phrase “ethic cleansing” sounds like it has a place in this discussion anyway.

  • EdwardBurke

    “Glocal”. Obviously, TIME’s editors and writers are working overtime to remain topical and relevant, if not avant-garde. An impressive coinage that substantively communicates — what? With an “intellectual thought-leader” like TIME at work, and with its fatuous neologisms endorsed by the ingenious producers at WBUR and “On Point” and NPR, who need worry about America’s relative economic decline or slippage?

    • nj_v2

      It would be nice to be able to blame them, but the hideous word is not TIME™’s invention. Google it.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The free exchange of products and ideas is good, but I’m concerned about maintaining individual rights and local character.  Show me a method of globalization that doesn’t end up as an inefficient version of the Borg, and I’ll likely approve.

    • nj_v2

      “Free trade” is a misnomer and a sham. Places like China are eating our lunch because of their slave labor, zero environmental regulations, and currency manipulation.

      Since Hamilton until the 1980s (Thanks, Reagan!) the U.S. had tariffs that averaged in the 20+% up to 30%.

      Now, the investors, profiteers, multinational predator corporations, and banksters that have taken over the economic and political infrastructure piss on our heads and tell us it’s raining.

      Tariffs paid for the entire cost of the U.S. government until the Civil War.

      All this is ignored, dismissed, and ignored when the apologists for the economic/corporate/political oligarchy  invoke the booga-booga of “protectionism” as if it were some sort of unmitigated evil.

      Please get someone to rebut this nonsense.

      For an example of a 180º view from today’s OffPoint:


      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672773455 Adam Parrillo

         Most “trade” is multinationals trading with themselves.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Labor unions are futile…

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    If other countries are prohibiting free trade, we must do the same. One sided trade is not free trade and if we cannot get cooperation we must protect our markets and jobs.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Who is “we”? Many of those profiting from faux free trade are American corporations and investors.

      • Mouse_2012

        until the partners in china starts to undercut them than they run to the U.S. government to protect them.

  • nj_v2

    Tariffs were hardly the cause of the Great Depression.

    And banks are being broken up??!

    Life is interesting here on Planet Earth. Ms. Foroohar should come and join us sometime.

    Wait until Peak Oil really kicks in in the coming decades and we’ll see what happens to the “global economy.”

    • Mouse_2012

      everytime she says “protectionism” or “caterpillar” take a drink .

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Is there wage depression at the executive level of Caterpillar?

    Nah, I didn’t think so.

  • superfinehelios

    Oh let’s not frame Apple’s outsourcing and building iphones in China as a local effort since more iphones are being bought in China. She really needs to stop using that as an example.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Apple is making Ipods in Brazil because Brazil gave concessions to draw them there.

  • Mike_Card

    Apple’s iPhones are made in China because “more are being bought there?”  um…how many are made in the USA because many are bought in the USA?   Zero????  Come on Time, this is the extent of your journalistic reach?

  • superfinehelios

    And dear caller…these local outdoor companies can and do charge a PREMIUM for those products….SIMMS waders can cost $200 – $500…Orvis Manchester Made fly rod = $700..

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Just so–I want a tailor to make clothes exactly as I want them.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    In order to give the American worker a fair shot at good jobs we need to consider such national strategies like Brazil.

     “Apple products remain expensive; the latest iPad, for instance, costs about $760 in Brazil, compared with $499 in the United States. But because those devices are made in Brazil and lower tariffs are charged on parts used to assemble them, Foxconn and Apple are pocketing larger shares of the profits, analysts say, offsetting the increased costs of building outside China.” 

    This is a way of redistributing income. Make products within the U.S., subsidize the producer by reducing tariffs and other taxes and provide good paying jobs to workers. The result is higher prices for goods and services.

    • Mouse_2012

      Is Foxconn making the workers in Brazil sign contacts that they wouldn’t off themselves like they do in China?

  • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/862139a4-e557-11e1-bc17-000bcdcb2996 Webb Nichols

    The developing countries are the developing markets. The United States is a shrinking market. The carbon footprint will make it more and more difficult for the US to sell its products overseas.

    And there is no parity now in the cost of production to begin with. The US is in a period of deflation and shrinking wages and shrinking buying power.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000227654152 Velma Robinson Gooding

      You are right on the money here Webb and this is a hushed secret that no one’s talking about!

      I’ve been on a two year journey to research this very new reality across the world and America only has a three to five year window to proactively plan and execute some strategies! 

      By 2030, 90% of middle classes will be located outside the U.S., according to Coca-Cola’s CEO. Those are consumers.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The best localization this past decade has been beer :-) So many good, locally produced beers these days.

    • JGC


  • http://twitter.com/frenchman_alan Scot Couturier, Jr.

    Zipp Speed Weaponry – Indianapolis, IN based developer and manufacturer of high-performance, carbon fiber bicycle wheels, used [by choice and un-branded] by the majority of 2012 Olympic road cyclists in London – now there is local American pride!

  • superfinehelios

    So how and when will these local products be cheaper? Yes I agree some things are made better in the US but most people probably buy items made overseas because they are cheaper.  I’d love to buy more US made products but right now they seem to be luxury priced items.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Rana: “You need to think in twenty-year chunks about globalization…”

    Tom (jokes): “You’re fired!”

    (Appropriate laughs all around.)

    Tom, keep this in your back pocket the next time someone fetishizes over CEOs wanting to dabble in governance.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Middle class is disappearing because capitalism lacks a referee. Government has allowed oligopolies to foster. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672773455 Adam Parrillo

       A call for a strong public sector.  Bravo!

    • Mike_Card


      • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

        to promote the growth or development of; further;

  • Potter
  • TinaWrites

    Every country needs to have a rich “gene pool” of jobs, a deep “biosphere” of jobs.  Or, for another metaphor, to reduce the U.S. to a nation that only has service jobs is like only doing weight training for your body, and not including aerobics and good nutrition.  We need people with a rich variety of work experiences and expertise.  

    *******  Also, we need another word for the word “protectionism”.  Too many Americans unable to find jobs are truly hurting in this global economy, while those who collect dividends are doing quite well.  If you think of the U.S. as a family, rather than a country, is this a portrait of a healthy family?  I don’t think so!  Glocalism sounds like a better form of “protectionism” than tariffs, but there has to be some understanding of the “support” that citizens need.  And how much better that that support be in the form of jobs rather than welfare.  But, we ARE a country with citizens; we are not just an economy.  The American “family” needs for globalism, as we’ve experienced it, to change!

  • singh_j

    A year ago, I decided to hire local talent for our software company.

    There are many people in the 55+ demographic who are spending all their time sending out resumes, and falling in the technology every day. Also fresh college graduates working at checkout counters in the local drugstore.

    We decided to hire them, bring up their technical knowledge to the latest technologies, and use them for Big Data and Web Development projects. We’ve been able to bid against offshore companies doing software development and WIN.

    J Singh

  • MaxBTV

    The bad news is robots can do your job now. The good news is
    we’re now hiring robot repair technicians. The worse news is we’re working on
    robot-fixing robots, and we do not anticipate any further good news.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Don’t forget the robots building new robots, John Connor.

  • superfinehelios

    So…these guests still want the common folk to buy everything made OVERSEAS! When nearly 70% of the US economy is DRIVEN BY CONSUMER spending? So put Americans to work building hi-tech machinery and sell it to other countries. All of that money goes where? Tariffs? So you get more Americans working using computers to build something that took 4 Americans before…this makes no sense to me. Those 3 other Americans get work in Walmart selling Chinese made toys to other common folk.

  • http://twitter.com/MidwestJim Jim Grimes

    High School Career and Technical Courses are being cut in order for schools to meet No Child Left Behind (Elementary and Secondary Ed Act) requirements for more high end college prep courses.  The CEO of Caterpillar recently complained about the lack of prepared employees–at the same time Illinois is cutting back on exactly that type of education.  The Congress is currently debating Perkins funding for CTE and may not fully fund it.

  • TinaWrites

    If Americans don’t have jobs, they can’t buy the products made overseas by cheaper labor for greater dividends to the stockholders.  Sadly, that doesn’t serve as a check and balance  because these companies will just sell to other countries around the world and just ignore the American market. 

    (These same stockholders often tend to be Tea Party advocates who keep talking about patriotism and the Founders and the Constitution.  But, by the way, many of the original colonies WERE founded as business ventures; fewer were founded on principles of “freedom”, specifically religious freedom.  Nevertheless, I hate the hypocrisy!!)

  • nj_v2

    Well, that’s comforting…Huge, multi-national corporations have “pledged” to source locally “when they can.”

    • Mike_Card

      But they express their patriotism by purchasing local lawmakers!

      • nj_v2

        “State Rep. sale in Aisle 5!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691625356 Peter Van Erp

    When I want to buy a dress shirt, I can’t find one that actually fits unless I spend $75 at Brooks Brothers.  The stores aimed at the middle class stock 25 different brands, each of which makes a limited range of sizes that do not correspond to my actual arm length.  I would buy a shirt for $40 that fit, but I don’t want to buy a $25 shirt that doesn’t fit.  Is it possible to make a decent shirt for the middle class in the US to sell for $40?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Similar to the 8′ x 20′ shelf of shampoo that all does basically the same thing.  Choice is good.  The illusion of choice?  Not so much.

    • superfinehelios

      Buy quality shirt on sale and get it tailored locally. My example…$35 shirt from Eddie Bauer or Orvis, $20 to local tailor to shorten sleeves. Works like a charm. Looks fantastic.

      • Mike_Card

        Because it will only take a few hours and your time is worthless.

  • JGC

    I wonder what Koch Industries are doing on the “glocalization” front…

    • Mike_Card

      Investing in state legislators.

  • TinaWrites

    The Germans, as described by the guests, are able to think about the consequences to THEIR NATION of having too much income inequality.  As described, this is the quality of their public policy debate!  I WISH we had that same thing here, but, instead, we have the wealthy living in gated communities, unphased by the inequities, etc., etc., etc.  

    We are TOO economy-centric.  We need to think about how the economy serves the people and therefore THE NATION.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Can we have at least a guest who doesn’t reflexively say “protectionist and dark and shrinky” as if it was all one word?

    Nobody on Wall St is threatening to replace CEOs with cheaper people elsewhere. Nobody in the mainstream media is going to replace their pundits (hello, Tom Friedman!) with someone cheaper.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672773455 Adam Parrillo

       “…an alarming trend of protectionism.”  comedy.

  • JGC

    Our universities will now feverishly work on designing $40,000 annual tuition programs that will churn out degrees in Industrial Policy Analysis and Marketing.

    • Michele

       They already do.  This thinking process on an academic level is part of urban planning and economics.  I wrote my Masters’ thesis in 2006 on this very topic and how globalization is impacting secondary US cities and their counterparts in developing countries.  My conclusion was that the only way forward for smaller cities to actively participate in the global economy is through regionalism (on both the micro and macro levels).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672773455 Adam Parrillo

         Ah…that takes cooperative planning.  However, the neoliberal underpinnings of how globalization has progressed pits localities against each other.  The spiraling down forces one (municipalities and individuals) to be a neoliberal actor thereby ensuring the continuation of neoliberal policies.

      • JGC

        I guess regionalism is both a concentration of an expertise that hopefully attracts global investment/purchasing, as well as trade within that region?  My own example is how the region surrounding Pittsburgh PA has re-invented itself over the years  (from a trading and agricultural hub  to the steel and auto industry to education/ medicine/high tech/sports endeavors). Pittsburgh has chosen a knowledge economy, and yet there remain persistent pockets of poverty.  Re-invention becomes a necessity over time, but how to include the folks trying to struggle up from the lower tiers? 

        The main point I was trying to make in my original post was in the wake of a comment by Rana Fooroohar:  she discussed school/college curriculums shaped with input from the local employers versus a university experience that leaves one with a degree in more soft skills. One type may better prepare to employ a larger portion of the population, and the other may propel a smaller number on to innovation; but with a university degree in the $40K-$50K range (I even read about one example of someone at Notre Dame paying $58K annual tuition), I think the U.S. university system has become the tail wagging the dog. 

        • Michele

           Actually Pittsburgh was one of the areas I cited because of how they have reinvented themselves and that the area is similar to a city in China (steel town, that reinvented itself as an educational/tech center) but where the impacts of globalization were experienced at much more accelerated rate.  The more globalized the economy becomes the faster the rate of obsolescence.

          As you alluded to regionalism needs to occur at many levels.  Localism is lovely, but cities need to become regional blocks, states need to follow suit and really we would have a more robust economy if states and cities focused on their local economies and offer tax incentives to existing businesses where the owner’s of those businesses reside in the communities.  This is not new thinking, however, cities have spent decades looking outward focusing on landing the big fish, building their “field of dreams” and in most cases ending up with white elephants while bankrupting themselves to attract transnational companies who owe them no loyalty and have no real ties to their communities.

          Regarding the education piece I do not disagree with you that the self-perpetuating system of ever increasing tuition is out of reach of many Americans. However, I think Ms. Fooroohar may be on to something.  Not everyone has to attend Notre Dame or an Ivy with exorbitant tuition.  There are many local and state colleges and universities where these programs could be rolled out. And really if we want public/private partnerships getting an education and perhaps the guarantee of a job is not such a bad thing.  After all those skills are portable.

  • TinaWrites

    Yes!  The rest of the world needs to thrive, but our people need to, too!  And the U.S. wealthy and politically connected use the first phrase to their OWN advantage only.  They “shame” Americans into giving them policies and tax breaks that serve them and hurt the 99%.  I hope Tom will consider a whole show on the German public policies that were mentioned by the guest!  He can cover Sweden and Denmark and Norway and Finland for contrast!  Please!  Our public policy debates are rancorous, but still not open enough to good ideas! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/hamesfarmer Pat Stewart

    Grow the Future, Join the Leaders, Read how

  • Roy-in-Boise

    By 2050 there will be 9 Billion  people on planet earth. Resources will get scarce, agriculture will get more industrialized and wages will not level off until the cost of labor reaches parity with the other larger global economies. One factor to also consider is the effects of climate change on agriculture and water availability.
    Will it get worse before it gets better? The reality is yes.

    Things that will contribute to life on earth getting better will  be lower population growth to begin with. Then the transition to an economy based on sustainable energy. Hydrogen slush powered aircraft for both sub orbital and space flight. Hi-Voltage DC for terrestrial and wireless transmission of energy as in space based generation and micro-wave transmission to earth. Technology is moving forward it’s not all science fiction. Either way the future will happen. I agree with the guests that we will morph more towards stronger local economies and production.

    As a side bar to all of this: When Romney talks about less Government that is code for increased Corporate feudal power.
    Mitt’s world would be like Biff’s in Back to the Future.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’ll have to listen to the replay because I missed the show as I was on a video call with Bangalore and Manila. 

  • hennorama

    The guests and moderator all were discussing Germany, and how German companies and government work together to maintain their competitiveness through worker training.  I posted the following recently as a comment to the OP show about retraining workers:

    “In the U.S., neither companies nor government consider worker training to be a key responsibility until there is a crisis.  Companies will train if they experience a lack of properly trained workers to meet demand, and government will train/retrain workers during periods of high unemployment.  This is an enormous waste of resources and talents.
    The way it generally works now, prospective workers here have to speculate and make the investment of time and money (college or vocational schooling) without any certainty of employment in the chosen field.Contrast this with the German system of Dual Vocational Training.  After the German equivalant of high school, students apply to a private company for a two or three year training contract. If accepted, the government supplements the trainee’s on-the-job learning with more broad-based education in his or her field of choice at a publicly funded vocational school. Usually, trainees spend three to four days at work and one to two in the classroom. At the end, the theory goes, they come out with both practical and technical skills to compete in a global market, along with a good overall perspective on the nature of their profession. They also receive a state certificate for passing company exams, a credential that allows them to transfer to similar businesses if the training company doesn’t keep them beyond the initial contract.Keep in mind that the students are being paid during this time by the training company.Also, this prevents students from entering school without job prospects, since they aren’t admitted unless an employer has offered a training contract.Both business and government recognize the value of training workers, and the partnership is very successful.  Unemployment in Germany is currently under 6%, and youth unemployment (under 25) is under 8%.Overall, a great record.”Is anyone in the US national government looking into how we could adopt this model?

    • jefe68

      But Germany is a European socialist nation…
      We can’t emulate socialist Europe, that would be un-American, even if it worked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.setmeyer Adam Setmeyer

    Is Rana Foroohar claiming “glocal” and “glocalization” as her original terms?  I can’t read the article in Time, because it is subscribers only, but she sure sounded like it on the radio.  The term definitely isn’t hers its Roland Robertson’s from a book titled Global Modernities (1995)

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.murgolo James Murgolo

    We don’t want to make kites and scissors because it would be automated?  Wouldn’t the buildings those things are made in require maintenance, city, state and federal taxes be paid, people who fix the robots get paid, the owners of the business live locally, the resources to build the products be shipped in by local workers on local roads and probably from domestic sources, power for the plant, etc.etc..  Just because no one is being paid to actually make the product or they are being paid minimum wage doesn’t mean that is the end of the equation.  Any company has huge effects on the local community economically regardless of whether it is automated or not.  

  • Pingback: The New ‘Glocal’ Economy | On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

  • Helene Papageorge

    It seems the the holy trinity: Federal, State and Local govt.’s either can’t figure out what their education agendas are OR they want things cutting not just both ways but 8 ways, OR, they neither know what they really want, NOR, have absolutely any vision whatsoever as how to rebuild the now defunct middle-class.  In fact, the recognition for the need of vocational education after 10+ years of screaming from the Educational field leads one to the conclusion that the needs of the 99% can only be validated by the very holy trinity which have caused this disaster by way of their infinite capricious wisdom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549276069 Vittorio Felaco

    Our system of separation of powers need to be revamped! The way things are, the lower house can simply present nonsense for laws just to pretend they are doing something. States think they can issue IDs that are legitimate and sound and it’s not so!  We could use a national ID but most people will not allow that to happen! We could use greater sanity in the purchase of guns but be are told there cannot be any discussion of gun controls! We simply give in! We could have a real electoral reform instead of simply having conservatives accuse democrats of electoral violations but they would never allow for a national ID to really fix things. We have a presidency that has more powers to wage wars, even useless and wasteful ones, but when it comes to national policy, all it can do is use the bully pulpit!  Just a few examples! We are really in trouble and it is a real wonder when some local initiatives are really implemented! They are drops in the bucket and no one seems to want to imitate and loosen up the system so as to make it work better! I have been listening to NPR and programs like yours for years and I see no real changes! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z6742IA2SESDM2ULT3Y6MIAHHU Random Luser

    Long past the deadline, at 10:30 pm, but here is my thought on the topic…

    We should try looking at global economics as an interaction of ecologies.  Each local economy can have its own system of checks and balances.  Each self-regulating place interacts, broadly, with other places, sharing and accepting or rejecting what each other offer.

    This contrasts with the idea of a frictionless global interaction.  We seem to think of the global economy as if it were a mathematical abstraction — the arithmetic and calculus is instantaneous, irresistible, and impartial.  

    An ecosystem on the other hand depends on inherent friction, which protects each economy from being overrun by invasive predators and exotic poisons.  A frictionless ecosystem has no boundaries, has no self-regulation, and ceases to be a system.

    In sum, we should realize that we are part of the ecosystem that sustains us.  When we bulldoze all the boundaries, we destroy our environment.  Maybe what we need to change is what we take for granted.

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    Tom and his guests call for more public/private partnership. We have enough of it already – Goldman Sachs, the military industrial complex, Archer Daniels midland, etc. It’s called corporatism and it’s also a major element of fascism. 

  • Pingback: Listen to This! « yepindeed

Aug 28, 2014
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

Aug 28, 2014
Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

Drought in California, earthquake in Napa. We look at broken bottles and the health of the American wine industry.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment
Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

More »
1 Comment
Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

More »